Preventive Dental Care
In addition to an annual preventive medical care visit, it is also recommended that children see a dentist every 6 months beginning by age 1.1 Children with special health care needs are more likely than other children to have had two dental visits in the past year, even after statistical adjustment for differences between CSHCN and non-CSHCN: 57.1 percent of CSHCN had two annual dental visits, compared to 48.9 percent of non-CSHCN. The percent of CSHCN with two yearly dental visits ranged from 43.9 percent to 69.8 percent across states.
Among children with and without special health care needs, the youngest children were the least likely to see a dentist twice a year; the percentage of school-aged children and adolescents who had two dental visits in the past year was similar for all children.
Among uninsured children, fewer than one-third had two dental visits in the past year: 31.2 percent of uninsured CSHCN and 28.4 percent of uninsured non-CSHCN saw the dentist twice. Privately insured children were the most likely to visit the dentist twice a year in both CSHCN and non-CSHCN.
6 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Clinical Affairs Committee; American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Council on Clinical Affairs. Guideline on Periodicity of Examination, Preventive Dental Services, Anticipatory Guidance/Counseling, and Oral Treatment for Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Pediatric Dentistry. 2008- 2009;30(7 Suppl):112-118.